Alphabet Shuts Down Google+ After Data Breach
Google announced on Monday that it would be shutting down its Google+ platform after hundreds of thousands of users’ data was potentially compromised earlier in the year.
The “”security bug”” was discovered by the Alphabet-owned company back in March during its Project Strobe, which is “”a root-and-branch review of third-party developer access to Google account and Android device data,”” according to Ben Smith, Google’s vice president of engineering.
The project also determined “areas where developers may have been granted overly broad access and other areas in which our policies should be tightened.”
“Our Privacy and Data Protection Office reviewed this issue, looking at the type of data involved, whether we could accurately identify the users to inform, whether there was any evidence of misuse, and whether there were any actions a developer or user could take in response. None of these thresholds were met here,” said Google in a statement to The Wall Street Journal.
However, users were never notified of the “”privacy glitch.””
“”According to Google, the bug was patched this past March and that profiles of up to 500,000 Google+ users were potentially affected. Google says that the data was limited to optional profile fields that included a person’s name, email address, occupation, gender, and age. The company added that the glitch did not impact any other data you may have posted or connected to Google+ or any other service, like Google+ posts, messages, Google account data, phone numbers or G Suite content,”” writes USA Today.
Google also said the company can not alert the 500,000 user accounts that had been affected because the company’s logs were already deleted.
The platform that will be closed over the next 10 months did not have nearly as much engagement and users as other social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
“”The consumer version of Google+ currently has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds,”” said Smith in a blog post.
The failed platform was rolled out in 2011.
Google is working on improving its privacy permissions when it comes to their active platforms like Google Calendar, Google Cloud, etc.
“When an app prompts you for access to your Google account data, we always require that you see what data it has asked for, and you must grant it explicit permission,” said Google in a blog post.
Now users have more control over what they allow developers to have access to, they can select which Google platform developers will have permissions to. Previously, when a developer was granted access to one platform like Google Calendar, the developer was also given access to Google Drive or other platforms in a users’ Google suite, also known as G Suite.
Shares of Alphabet Inc dropped by 2.6 percent at about $1138.53 during the day Monday after the breach was announced.
Author’s note: Google is trying to keep this breach quiet by calling it a “”glitch”” and won’t tell us who was affected or even how bad it really was. If Google+ was impacted, were other Google platforms hacked too? Like other tech companies, Google is more concerned about its revenue than its users’ privacy. Why else didn’t the company alert its users?
Editor’s note: This freaking outrageous. We see this constantly, and our government does nothing. Does anyone care about privacy anymore?